Can the right body language score you a second date?
The answer is yes, and here’s what you need to know to take advantage.
Psychologists have shown it takes you between 90 seconds and four minutes to decide if you fancy someone. But if you’re trying to impress a date, forget about being witty or peppering the conversation with intelligent remarks. It turns out that up to 93% of communication is nonverbal. Yes, we’re busy scanning body language, facial cues and listening to the tone of their voice to decide whether or not we’re into them, and barely listening to a thing they say.
So it makes sense then, that to improve your chance at a second date it’s worth learning how to read and give off the right body language clues.
According to founder of ScienceOfPeople.com, Vanessa Van Edwards, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to effectively flirt when meeting someone for the first time, and the first is all in how you approach them.
Let’s say you’re meeting your eharmony match at a bar, and you see them already seated at a table… “If you’re a man, you should always approach a woman directly from the front so they can see you and take you in,” says Vanessa. This is because when women are approached from side or behind it tends to elevate their cortisol or stress levels because they can’t see you very easily.
Conversely, if you’re a woman approaching a man, keep in mind that men don’t mind being approached from the side or back. “In fact they like being sidled up to,” says Vanessa. “When a man is approached directly from the front it can be seen as intimidating or invasive. They love to have someone approaching them from the side.”
Then, for both parties, it’s important to ensure your hands aren’t in your pockets or under the table. Instead, have them where your date can see them. Why? It’s evolutionary. “Back in caveman days, we felt threatened if we were approached by a stranger with a weapon, so we always wanted to see their hands to be able to ensure our safety,” says Vanessa. “Our hands are our trust indicators. When we can see someone’s hands our brains know that we can trust them as a friend, not a foe.”
During your date, he or she will be subconsciously giving you clues they’re keen on you so look out for them. “The first thing a woman is likely to do to show she’s interested is expose her neck, because she wants the man to smell her pheromones,” says Vanessa. So if she’s tilting her neck, flipping her hair back or drawing attention to her neck, you’re on the right track.
For women, try to glance down at your date’s feet. “Almost always, men will point their feet towards the woman they’re most attracted to,” reveals Vanessa.
Next, take a look at how he is sitting. “If he displays his legs or is sitting in a way that makes him appear bigger, he’s in lust. It’s called ‘peacocking’ and they’re trying to say, I would be a good, strong mate for you.”
There are signs, too, that things might not be going so well and you might have to change course.
“Watch out for fake happiness,” warns Vanessa. “People are generally happy when they get eye crinkles – you want to see lines around the eyes.” If they’re not smiling with their eyes, it could be they’re not having a good time.
Similarly, be wary if your date is pursing their lips. “If you see that, you know it’s not going well and they’re holding back what they really want to say about a topic,” says Vanessa.
Touch is also a powerful flirting tool. “It’s incredibly important because when we touch another human we release something called oxytocin, which is the hormone for bonding,” explains Vanessa. “The safest place you can start when touching someone is the hand. The further up the arm you go, the more intimate the touch becomes.”
So how do you want to signal to your date you’re interested without being creepy? “Start with a light touch on the hand and see what they do. Do they smile? Do they lean into your touch? Do they touch you back? These mean there’s a go ahead to possibly engage in even more flirting.”
But be careful to avoid touching your date on the torso, head or legs, which are considered more intimate areas and no-go zones.
Finally, in case you can’t remember all of that, just remember the one universal flirting cue that’s used by both sexes and across cultures. What is it? The raised eyebrow. “This is the one we all use – literally all of us – to show we’re interested or curious or want to engage,” says Vanessa. So if you can only manage one flirting tool, go for the raised eyebrow and then rest assured your body will subconsciously take care of the rest.
Do you notice body language on a date? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.
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